Path analysis: to use or not to use?

As mentioned in previous blogs, nowadays, offline travel agencies are starting to disappear. When focusing on online travel agencies, technology is playing a bigger role than it ever has before, and it is being used for numerous purposes. One of these interesting examples in which technology can be used is when establishing a path analysis. A path analysis is similar to a decision tree and is being used to ‘’ determine a specific pattern of relationship among a set of variables’’ (Pandey, R., 2013). By means of a path analysis, decision-making processes of customers can be analysed, which might come in helpful, in this situation for a travel agency.

When making use of a path analysis, the online behaviour of customers can be analysed, for instance at the website of the travel agency. As a travel agency, because of conducting a path analysis, the movement of visitors on your website can be tracked. Where did visitors find you? Was this via a search engine or directly via the website of the travel agency? And what exactly is it that they were looking for? Knowing this data can be very interesting and eye-opening for a travel agency. By means of these characteristics, the SEO of a company could be adjusted, for instance, to target their customers even more effectively. An example of a path analysis/decision tree can be found below.

Decision tree (Nayab, N., 2015, Bright Hub Project Management)
Decision tree (Nayab, N., 2015, Bright Hub Project Management)

However, a path analysis is not always being accounted for as effective. If the activities of the visitors are of a certain complexity, it can be difficult to represent this accurately, which makes it less effective for the company (Constantinou, M., 2013). Furthermore, if there are a lot of visitors visiting the website, it can be very time-consuming for a company, a travel agency in this case, to analyse all these statistics (CPMScheduling.com, 2018).

In conclusion, a path analysis can be an interesting method of tracking the consumer behaviour of your visitors. However, also be aware of the possible challenges which might come across. It is up to the company to decide whether to make use of it or not, but if it is being used correctly, it can be a very effective method to gain insight into the paths visitors are crossing online, and knowing this can benefit the target strategy of the travel agency.

References

Bright Hub Project Management. (2015, June 24). Use MS Word to Make a Decision Tree: Template & Tips. Retrieved from Bright Hub Project Management: https://www.brighthubpm.com/templates-forms/117945-use-ms-word-to-make-a-decision-tree-template-and-tips/

Constantinou, M.-E. (2013, June 11). Critical Path Analysis. Retrieved from Get Revising: https://getrevising.co.uk/grids/critical_path_analysis

CPMScheduling.com. (2018). Advantages and Disadvantages in the Implementation of CPM. Retrieved from CPMScheduling.com: http://www.cpmscheduling.com/critical-path-method/advantages-and-disadvantages-in-the-implementation-of-cpm

Pandey, R. (2013). Do you know what exactly is path analysis? In which research issues and for what research purposes path analysis could prove to be more useful? Retrieved from ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/post/Do_you_know_what_exactly_is_path_analysis_In_which_research_issues_and_for_what_research_purposes_path_analysis_could_prove_to_be_more_useful

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